OnBrand Britain

Trevor Phillips, Head of the Racial Equality Commission made some shrewd remarks in his recent â??speechâ?? on race relations in Britain in 2005, and flagged up some important warning signs about â??sleepwalking into a ghetto cultureâ?. He also hinted at a solution to our problems being a better shared understanding of British-ness. There are two important questions here. 1. What would Britishness be? 2. How would we learn this Britishness? It seems that whenever there are problems regarding communication and understanding, whether it be in corporate communications or these slightly more weighty issues of natinal identity, that the default response is to say we all need to be â??on-messageâ??, â??on-brandâ?? and â??singing from the same song sheetâ??. Not only is this unrealistic, but it imposes a rather sinister subtext of the answer to our differences being an imposed mono-culture. Business and society in general would do well to learn from examples where different view points are tolerated and can even be a very creative force for good. So long as the lines of communication are open, strong and honest we should be able to tolerate (and maybe even enjoy) strongly opposing views, whether this relates to being â??onbrandâ?? in corporate life or â??onbrandâ?? as a citizen of the UK.

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